psychedelic

IT’S IN LOVESPEAKE’S DNA
June 13, 2016 12:30 pm

If you like dancing, you’ll love Lovespeake. DNA, the Norwegian band’s debut album, seems tailor-made for listening to while swaying back and forth with a frozen margarita in your hand. Formed from members of angsty indie rock band Emma Eye Jedi, Lovespeake sounds like the night before the morning after.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS got to trade some emails with vocalist/guitarist Pav (Alexander Pavelich), and find out what’s good in the land of the midnight sun.

Congratulations on your debut album, DNA. Did you do anything special to celebrate?

Thanks! I actually went to London that week for some sessions and hung out with a bunch of friends from university. It was a blast!

Did you help come up with video ideas for the title track?

We worked closely with Ferdinand Film bouncing ideas back and forth. We really wanted to implement the colours and branding from our artwork. Our lead designer Jørn made the concept and created these giant painted boards that we used for our photoshoot, so we ended up using them in the video too. Rebecca, Christopher and the team over at Ferdinand Film did a great job coming up with the story and making it work with the music.

Do you prefer performing at large festivals, or in smaller (more intimate) clubs?

The more the merrier! I always find it easier to play for larger crowds, feeding off the energy they create… it’s the ultimate rush. The more energy we get from an audience, the better we play. But we go into every show with the same attitude: give those folks the time of their lives, and it doesn’t matter if it’s only 10 people! And even if 9 of those people are talking or not paying attention, you still need to give everything you’ve got to that one person who’s there to see YOU. I definitely like playing sweaty, intimate shows when there’s a passionate crowd, but there’s nothing like playing at a huge festival where you’re pretty much guaranteed a good audience.

What’s it like to be a band performing at a festival?

In our experience, artists usually have a nice area to hang out with sofas, snacks and drinks. Some festivals also arrange activities and excursions. It’s always fun to get to see the sights where you play…when you’re a broke musician the only time you really get to travel is when you’re on tour, haha! We’ve never toured on a bus before, but in any case we love meeting fellow artists and making new friends.

I think you’re the first band I’ve interviewed from Sandvika. What is the music scene like in Norway?

The Norwegian music scene is at an all-time high at the moment, thanks to the recent success from artists like Kygo, Aurora, Matoma, Alan Walker and Kvelertak. A lot of eyes are looking to Norway…There’s a lot of great new music emerging at the moment. I think actually Norway has the highest number of festivals per capita or something! There’s festivals everywhere, and my favorite festival has to be Malakoff.

What are your favorite local places to see live music?

In Oslo there are some great venues such as Parkteatret and Rockefeller. Good size and great sound.

Are there any Norwegian bands you feel deserve more attention?

Look out for up-and-coming artists like Ary, Carl Louis, Coucheron and Baya.

Your sound is often described as “psych pop.” Does that seem accurate to you?
I think there’s definitely some dreamy, psychedelic elements in the production and instrumentation to justify that term, but I’d say that a majority of the album’s emphasis lies more towards retro-electronic indie pop, blending in with feel-good disco and soul.

Do you listen to much disco, or music from the 70s?

Oh yeah! I grew up with that stuff.

Are there any albums from that time you can recommend to someone looking to expand their record collection?

I recently made a little Spotify-playlist with some of my favourite disco tracks! You can listen to it here:

Also, more 70s feel-good tracks that will definitely put you in a great mood for summer:

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

We’ll be releasing a few more singles, some music videos, and touring. First up is the UK in June, then a festival summer in Norway and booking a big album tour in the fall. We really hope to make it to the US soon. And I’ll also be writing some brand new music. Gotta keep going!

KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD AND KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD AND K
June 8, 2016 1:18 pm

You can bet those cringe-worthy getups your parents wore in the early-80s are going to be next season’s hot commodity. Human innovation is less about spontaneous combustion and more about an endless mashup of patterns. ‘Dude! What does mine say?  Sweet! What does mine say?’ If only a rock band capitalized on this notion of the never-ending pop cultural Saṃsāra.

There’s no way to properly brace yourself for King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s latest high-octane concoction. Nonagon Infinity dishes out a blissed-out 42-minute jam served with a blitz of viciously fast guitar-play, fist-pumping lyrics, and a time-warping motorick beat. It’s also King Gizzard’s most righteously ambitious effort to date: an album that’s deliberately designed to seamlessly loop back to the beginning, again and again, for eternity. The disorienting bombastity crescendos into a seemingly abrupt end on “Road Train,” which fits back into the first track “Robot Stop.” The beginning is the end and the end is the beginning. I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together. C-C-C-Combo Breaker!!

Frontman Stu Mackenzie howls out themes of a dystopian future run by robots (The universe is a machine/That has awoken from a dream), evil flying vultures (People-Vultures waiting to begin/Deadly ulcers feeding on my skin), and the nonsensical (Once I’m Mr. Beat/I only miss a beat).

It’s rare to see a band with seven members, but Australian psychedelic rock septet King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard just wouldn’t be complete without two drummers, four guitarists, and harmonica. Nonagon Infinity was released via According to Our Records (ATO), which features a heady roster including Gogol Bordello, My Morning Jacket, and Old Crow Medicine Show. While certainly conjuring up 70s prog-rock of Pink Floyd and Yes ilk, King Gizzard rev up the ferocity by incorporating the harder edge of metal, and the hallucinatory repetition of Krautrock. Sonically, the band resembles fellow-Melbourne garage-rockers The Oh Sees.

The accompanying music videos also match the novelty-rock theme. “Gamma Knife” features the band circled around a makeshift offering pit as the camera dizzyingly pans around King Gizzard and company shredding guitars and banging drums. Druids adorned in brightly colored robes descend from the surrounding foliage. The video comes to an end as the ritual pit spawns a egg-shaped crystal and knocks out the band and adjoining worshipers. Incidentally this seamlessly leads into the next video, “People Vultures” in which the egg hatches a horrendously lofty paper-mache prop, which King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard painstakingly lug around while performing their instruments (you know, like a People Vulture). They are sporadically attacked by jump-kicking villains reminiscent of Power-Ranger which are vaporized by the vulture’s lazer beams.

If you hadn’t guessed yet, the band has already confirmed they will release a music video for each of the tracks on Nonagon Infinity–which might seem like a page out of Beyonce’s playbook–but this case clearly hints that, yes, there will be a never-ending music video to accompany their never-ending album.

If you’re a connoisseur of Rock’N’Roll’s rich history of novelties Nonagon Infinity is a must have–it fits in right next to Flaming Lips Zaireeka, synchronizing Dark Side of the Moon with the Wizard of Oz, KISS action figurines, and the complete Guitar Hero collection. Unsurprisingly so, the prized vinyl pressing of Nonagon Infinity is already sold out on their bandcamp. You can start placing your bets on Ebay where I’m sure it’ll fetch a fair price.

I say tuh-may-tow. You say to-mah-to. I call it retro, you call it nostalgia. Certainly you’re familiar with the old adage that Pop Culture comes in cycles.  Some call it the 40-year-rule, but…

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: METHYL ETHYL
April 1, 2016 10:58 am

Here at AtypicalSounds we’re always looking out for the next big thing. Our April Artist of the Month is Methyl Ethel, a Perth-based dreampop trio that are hot off the heels of releasing their debut record Oh Inhuman Spectacle, which was released digitally last month via 4AD.  The album showcases a sleek backdrop of psych-rock influences, reverb-drenched guitar, and Jake Web’s oddball lyrics: the chorus to lead single “Twilight Driving” caution unsuspecting drivers to watch out for “roos”.

Methyl Ethel are the latest indie upstart to burst out of Australia in the wake of big acts to emerge from the continent including Courtney Barnett and Tame Impala. The band’s following has been growing steadily since CMJ this past October, demonstrated by their insane and successful performance at this year’s SXSW. They’ve proven their ability to arouse new fans to faithfully follow them wherever their tour may take them.

Unfortunately, if you haven’t had a chance to catch them live yet, you might have to wait a bit. They’ve just wrapped up the US-wing of their international tour and are doing their last handful of shows in Europe and in native Australia. We’ll be waiting their return.

GET WEIRD WITH THE CLAYPOOL LENNON DELIRIUM
January 28, 2016 2:53 am

If you’ve never heard Primus, or their singer Les Claypool’s bass lines, then you’re in luck.  Not only does “Cricket And The Genie” contain one of the better bass lines I’ve heard this year, but it also contains Sean Lennon as a part of the mega two-piece called The Claypool Lennon Delirium.

Lennon surely takes after his father in this collaboration, without a doubt.  The eight minute song starts out with a very eerie bass intro and a vocals that sound like the Beatles have returned.  The bass style is driven with such a delicious tone and complex structure through out the song that you get lost in it.  Lennon’s vocals have their own soft but playful taste to them, summoning his father’s ghost with a throat singing style, similar to Elliott Smith in his harsher elements of delivery.  The keys in this song form an interesting mix of melancholy and downright creepy, creating the stage for a Muselike overall darkness but with the DNA of two of the worlds greatest musicians.  The song obviously features a little bit of a cricket song as well.

This song throws you for a loop. There is a break down around the 3:55 minute mark, almost halfway through the song, that kind of blows my mind. In a Rolling Stone article Claypool stated about Lennon, “His DNA definitely shines through, though it isn’t just his father’s musical sensibilities that he reflects but also his mother’s abstract perspective, which to me, makes for a glorious freak stew.”

Freak stew is probably the best description i’ve heard so far.  Only its the right kind of freak stew, the kind you want to gorge on for weeks on end. For whatever reason the raw and not quite abrasive quality of the song drags you right in with the acquired taste that they sell and they sell it flawlessly.  I heard this song multiple times and I’ve had the swimming melodies and punchy driving bass lines ingrained in my mind for about a week.

Lennon states,

“The Claypool Lennon Delirium will (gently) melt your face with heart-pounding low-frequency oscillations and interdimensional guitar squeals. We look forward to seeing you very soon.”

He is absolutely not lying.  The Beasts here suggest that you get your first, second and third helpings of this freak stew before both members get busy with any other mega projects they might also be involved in. The last lyrics in this song are; “you ought to try it you really ought to try it” and we can assure you we agree. Try the song and make sure to catch them in July at Bonnaroo!

 

THE GLORY OF GOOD MORNING
November 29, 2015 11:28 pm

Melbourne band Good Morning has returned to Australia after 11 performances at their first CMJ and positive reviews from publications including Spin and NME. ATYPICAL SOUNDS had the pleasure of welcoming them to New York during that time, and you can read our interview with them here.

Now, the band is settling back in at home, and getting ready to release their Glory EP in February 2016. We were given a sneak preview of the album, and will do our best to convey its sound to you. It’ll be like you’re right here with us.

The album opens with “Overslept”, a lo-fi track that makes you feel like a pack of crayons on a hot radiator. Singer Stefan Blair certainly sounds sleepy in his delivery of the lyrics, “I overslept today/ What in the world/ What in the world/ What in the world should I say?” It’s the type of song that makes you want to stay in bed a little while longer while listening.

The EP gives the impression of following Blair and bandmate Liam Parsons through a lazy day during a hot, Australian summer. The timing of the release will be great for the band’s fans at home, since February falls during summertime in the southern hemisphere. For the rest of their fans, who will inevitably be freezing their asses off during this time, the album sounds like a chilled-out vacation in a much warmer climate.

“Cab Deg” is the band’s first single to be released from the EP. It’s the most “indie” album on the track, featuring extended vocal harmonies and a poppier sound. However, Blair and Parsons quickly bring the listener back down to reality during “To Be Won”. Played predominantly on acoustic guitar, it can be a challenge to decipher Blair’s softly-sung vocals, leaving the track up to interpretation over whether the song is sad or tastefully subdued. Either way it’s beautiful, making “To Be Won” the second single due to be released from the EP.

Between the first 3 and last 3 songs, the sound changes, like the guys have had some coffee. Overall, there’s less distortion and these tracks sound cleaner and more produced than the previous ones; “Give Me Something To Do” features some fancy saxophone but maintains the vocal harmonies of “Cab Deg”. However, the track goes in a new direction with spoken lyrics towards the end of the song that sound like they could be the slightest bit influenced by Lou Reed’s Street Hassle.

“The Great Start”, the penultimate track, carries through the psychedelic feel of the EP, but adds an airier, more atmospheric sound that blends well with Blair’s sleepy vocal style. By the time “In The Way” begins to play, I can’t imagine the listener is anything but blissed out, and this track prolongs that feeling all the way to the end of the EP. “I’m so sorry/ I get caught up…” is repeated through the track, but it’s never quite clear what Blair and Parsons are apologizing for. It doesn’t matter; it’s another beautiful song on the EP. Finally, it dissolves into a swirling puddle of sound before picking up and giving us one more “I’m so sorry…” and gently letting us go.

IT ALL FEELS RIGHT WITH WASHED OUT
November 18, 2015 1:56 pm

If I were to take a wild guess, you, the reader, having ventured into our wondrous world of ATYPICALSOUNDS, might be into ‘indie’ music, which by that extension means, you might recognize this tune.

Washed Out Band Photo. Ernest Greene pictured.

The creative forces behind Portlandia didn’t randomly select that snippet as the backdrop for their sketch comedy roughly based around the ill-defined ‘hipster’ niche. Washed Out’s “Feel It All Around” was the anthem to a short-lived–yet indispensable–piece of nostalgia-injected ambient-electro dance pop that emerged circa 2009 that is referred to as “Chillwave”, often characterized by heavily distorted lyrics, synthesizers, and sampling.  Think Toro Y Moi Causers of This Neon Indian’s Psychic Chasms or Aerial Pink’s Before Today.

Washed Out is Athens, Georgia native Ernest Greene. He was discovered on, of all places, his MySpace account—which was still the social media mode of choice for most aspiring bedroom musicians at the time. Greene released his first two EPs High Times and Life of Leisure both within a short span in September 2009.  The former of the two was released via exclusively on cassette tape.  The latter saw a much wider release on Mexican Summer, a Brooklyn-based record company that specializes in elaborate vinyl packaging. Life of Leisure served as a major catalyst for Mexican Summer, which, along with Best Coast’s 2010 debut Crazy For You, was a hot commodity indie label at the time–and was certainly a major player in the vinyl craze that started around that time.  Greene next moved to Sub Pop where he released his debut full-length Within and Without in 2011 and followed up with Paracosms in 2013.

Thematically, Washed Out’s music tends to revolve around one central theme.  Look no further than his debut record cover.  That’s right: Love. Washed Out is a desperate romantic chasing after his muse. The titles of Greene’s tunes don’t really beat around the bush either; for example, “The Sound of Creation,” or “It All Feels Right.” His music is sensuous, immersive, and evocative, and at the same time, quite beautiful and dense.  Make-out music on a mild dose of psychedelia.

DEERHUNTER DIALS IT DOWN ON FADING FRONTIER
November 9, 2015 8:33 pm

Here’s the deal: Deerhunter has already earned their place in the ‘Ought’ generation’s indie rock pantheon. Bradford Cox is one of the most prolific, idiosyncratic, boundary-pushing voices to emerge in the last two decades. Microcastle is the quintessential ambient-psych-drone-punk album- evocative, dense and, if it wasn’t already apparent, difficult to classify. But bands aren’t professional sports teams. They don’t expire after a set number of ‘peak’ years. They grow old, and we get to grow old with them. Hopefully, we age well together. If Deerhunter’s 7th full-length album, Fading Frontier, is a sign of things to come, I’d say we’re in good hands.

1035x1035-unnamed-(1)Fading Frontier  is a wake up call. The genesis that spurred the record was a horrific car accident that left Bradford Cox severely injured—the soft-rock-injected “Breaker” ends with “jack knifed on the side street crossing, I’m still alive, and that’s something, and when I die, there will be nothing to say accept I tried not to waste another day”.

This is a softer, less dissonant, more fluid pop rock album than anything Deerhunter’s released to date.  The Upbeat “Living My Life” sounds like it could have been accidentally swapped for a Benjamin Gibbard song.  A pretty far departure from Cryptograms.

Braford Cox is a stream-of-consciousness evocateur. There’s a difference between a cannon slasher flick and a full-on psychological thriller. Cox’s themes tend to fit into the latter category- and although Fading Frontier serves as a more ethereal, soothing vessel, Cox’s off-kilter commentary on self-destruction, alienation, and turmoil are ever present. The album ends with “Carrion,” a morbid play off carry on.

Deerhunter records tend to sound like they were transmitted from deep space, intercepting stray waves of static and intergalactic noise along the way.  Drenched in reverb, a smorgasbord of oddball soundboard effects, drone pedals, and synth. Fading Frontier takes these Deerhunter tropes and dials them down, just a little bit.

METHYL ETHYL WORKS UPON YOUR CHEMISTRY
November 5, 2015 10:41 am

Strait off the CMJ circuit and coming to you all the way from Perth, Australia are indie dream-popers Methyl Ethyl. With their 60’s tinged mellow psychedelic sounds, this rising act has a chemistry that works directly upon the soul.a3364250038_16

It seems to be a ripe time for our friends south of the equator, as some of the most defining indie music of this decade has been pouring out of these Australian cities. Perhaps it is the reflection of our own alter egos that we Americans see, or maybe it’s just something in the Oceania air. While Methyl Ethyl will undoubtedly draw comparisons to bands like Tame Impala and Chet Faker, their overall sound is actually quite distinguishable from these more popular Australian acts. And quite honestly, the intrigue is in the anonymity. Methyl Ethyl is still a relatively obscure band. Their budget surely doesn’t meet the heights of some of the more mainstream artists within the indie world. This sonic rawness comes across in their debut LP Oh Inhuman Spectaclereleased June of this year, which ironically parallels albums such as 2001 indie classic Oh Inverted World by The Shins.

The Band formed in 2013, releasing two EPs respectably that year. However their effects heavy experimental sound truly comes to fruition in their most recent release. Oh Inhuman Spectacle is full of delicate arpeggios, fat contrasting bass lines and expertly executed synth tones. The Album begins in a sort of eerie dissociative state which progresses into the soul filled nostalgia of “Twighlight Driving,” eventually ending with “Everything as it Should Be,” which eases you out of the psychedelic trip that was Oh Inhuman Spectacle.

With just under four thousand Facebook followers, Methyl Ethyl has clearly just begun their musical journey. Make sure to listen to their new album and hop on board while they’re still young. The Beasts will be putting this one on repeat and we hope to see them stateside soon!

 

CARROLL SUMMONS PSYCHEDELIC VIBES IN PHILLY
November 2, 2015 12:02 am

It was a drizzly, damp evening. The Boot & Saddle is a cosey South Philly music venue that bring in a wide range of indie upstarts befitting its intimate setting. Carroll is a Minneapolis four-piece that creates gentle, lush sound collages tinged with swirls of mild psychedelia. The quaint stage a perfect platform to usher in their debut self-titled album and kick off a brief tour of the East Coast.

keys1Carroll are a young band and you can tell. They haven’t gotten all of the nerves out yet, there are some hesitancies, nervous fidgeting, minor nuances in their stage presence. To be fair, I’ve always found the smaller crowds make it tougher to get into your groove. Large crowds are so all-encompassing- insignificant little ants. Smaller audiences are a nerve-racker, brings you back to classroom stage-freight. There’s nothing covering up even the most trivial imperfection, missed note, belting out a line in the wrong key. None of this mattered though, Carrol’s sound mirage was spectacular.

Colorful interlocking guitars. Vibrant vocal harmonies. Swift, punchy drums that gave the music an energetic punch. Waves of deep, robust bass- filling out the hazey soundscape. They played through the highlights from their new album no particular order, and also threw in a few bonus concoctions. All in all a solid set. Each song had a new and unexpected transition, rewarding avid listeners with a fresh dynamic.

This promising new band is traveling across the country to rile up hype for an album they’d put countless hours into, and that passion and genuine love to entertain spews out.  Definitely catch them if they come through your city.

I got a chance to ask Carroll’s bassist, Charles McClung, a few questions prior to their show, discuss the origin of the name “Carroll”, transplanting from the outskirts of Minneapolis to Philly, and the nervous energy associated with a new album. Here’s what he had to say:

So we know the name Carroll is derived from the Iconic Minneapolis hot spot, what brought you to name your band after that?

We named the band after the avenue in St. Paul where Brian and Charlie started the band. In our own way, we made it a hot spot, although I doubt anyone else would consider it such.

I looked up name “Carroll” online, it’s a surname, Irish in origin, meaning “manly” or “champion”…so you guys believe you’re “manly champions”?!  

We would be very hesitant to call ourselves manly champions.

You guys are picking steam in Minneapolis and you’re summoned to record an album out here in Philly. What was that like?  

It’s funny you use the word “summoned”! We definitely learned a thing or two about the art of summoning from that experience; namely, summoning the psychedelic vibes from within!

How does that compare to the Northern Wilderness?

On a more serious note, it was definitely a rad experience to leave the Twin Cities to record in a totally different creative environment out here in Philadelphia. Some of us liked it enough to move out here, actually. Both cities are special places.

Recording tracks in a studio environment versus recording demos out in the woods are very different experiences. I think we have an affinity for both domains, though. Disparate inspirations come into play.

Apparently you guys recorded the album in 18 days–did you guys actually get to check out the city?  Or were you locked up in the studio the entire time?

You can fit a lot into 18 days, as it turns out! We were able to finish tracking and get a feel for the city as a whole during that recording session. Some days were more stressful than others, both in and out of the studio. From Max taking his sweet time dialing in guitar tones to Charles getting lost in South Philadelphia looking at murals… it was a fun time.

Are you looking forward to returning to Philly and playing the Boot & Saddle?  Philly’s a pretty fun crowd, right?!?

Yeah, Philadelphians are a hoot. We actually just peeped Here We Go Magic at Boot & Saddle earlier this week, and we’re excited to get back in there!

How was it working with Jon Low (who’s produced Kurt Vile, The War On Drugs, The National, and many more) you must have been absolutely floored.

Jon Low is a wizard. But he’s not the only one. See www.shatteredorb.net for evidence.

Releasing a record is a major milestone for any up-and-coming band. Are you more anxious or excited about rolling out your self-titled second record? It sounds amazing by the way- as if my opinion counted for anything.

Thank you so much! Your opinion totally counts, don’t sell yourself short! Although we are generally an anxious bunch, I think that it would be the wrong adjective to describe our view on our record. We’re proud of it and happy that it’s out in the world now.

YOU WISH YOU KNEW: WISHYUNU
October 21, 2015 8:43 am

Wishyunu (pronounced Wish-You-Knew) is a psychedelic-electronic duo hailing from Portland, Oregon composed of drummer Tony Bertaccini and vocalist Bei Yan.

Like the greenery that surrounds it, Portland’s music scene is a highly fertile place that has given birth to a variety of genres. While Portland and the surrounding cosmopolitan areas in Oregon are known for being central to the rise of garage/grunge rock in the late 80s and alternative rock in the 90s, the mid-late 2000s ushered in an extension of Portland’s DIY creative ethos into the realm of indie-pop and electronica. Bands like Beach House, M83 and Washed Out had begun flaunting the popularity of self-programmed drums and highly compressed/reverberated vocals on the national stage. Portland bands quickly followed suit as new dream pop groups like Blouse, Pure Bathing Culture, and Radiation City began rising out of the woodwork.

Wishyunu’s sound – programmed beats beneath drone-like synths and a highly effected female vocalist – is by no means a groundbreaking endeavor. Their sound is familiar, reminiscent of the shoegaze and dream pop musical trends that have since passed. However, there is something uniquely captivating about the music when you isolate it from its popular music context and listen closely to the material. There is a cinematic quality to each of their songs with psychedelic drones oscillating between the drumbeats and smoky vocals creating this lushly layered and almost poly-rhythmic sound. The song “Summer Suit” the B-side off their most recent two-track 7″ Photoplay has an effective hypnotic quality to it, as if taken from the score of an action movie soundtrack (the soundtrack to Drive comes to mind). The track captured not only the attention of the BEASTS but also the attention of NPR as they featured it on Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing back in July.

As for what’s next for Wishyunu, it seems a bit under wraps. The band’s Facebook indicates that they are currently unsigned and touring locally so it seems safe to say they’re not gearing up to lead a nation-wide shoegaze dream-pop revival. However, outlets like Oregon Public Radio and NPR have indicated that they are gearing up to release another full-length. Perhaps the band has their sights set on something huge that will travel beyond the tree-lined Oregon walls. Only time will tell.

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